Manage Allergies with Nutrition

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Guest blogger: Lindsay V., Communications Coordinator / Compass Rose Benefits Group

Spring is around the corner, and so is allergy season. There’s nothing worse than trying to enjoy the nice weather only to be met with itchy eyes and the constant urge to sneeze. These symptoms are your immune system’s response to foreign substances in the body. So, a good way to tackle allergies is to strengthen your immune system—which you can do through nutrition.

Get Enough Vitamin C (1)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may help reduce allergy symptoms such as inflammation. It is found in many fruits and vegetables that can easily be added to your diet. To increase your Vitamin C intake, look for citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits—or if you are not a fan of citrus, try strawberries and tomatoes. Be sure to wash fresh foods before you eat them, as they may have pollens on the surface.

Eat the Right Healthy Foods (2) (3)
No food is a proven cure for allergies, but certain foods are full of nutrients that help your body stay healthy—including your immune system, helping to protect from allergies. Here are some healthy foods to consider adding to your diet (or keep eating):

  • Onions, peppers, berries, and parsley all contain quercetin, which may reduce histamines that cause an allergic response.
  • Pineapple has an enzyme called bromelain, which can reduce irritation associated with asthma.
  • Tuna and salmon contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation. To maximize the benefits, try to eat two servings of fish every week.
  • Hot drinks and soup can warm your stomach and airways, thinning mucus and making it easier to cough.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics, which may help allergy symptoms such as runny nose and congestion.

Avoid the Wrong Foods (3)

  • Spicy food can trigger the release of histamine—what causes allergic reactions.
  • Alcohol may cause swelling and stuffiness in the nose, so if you are already congested, that could make your symptoms worse.

If you are an allergy sufferer, adjust your diet and see if it eases your allergies. If you experience major symptoms and discomfort, or changing your diet does not work, consult your doctor. They can assess your individual situation and address your concerns.

Sources:
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